Growing up, I stayed back at camp while my parents and friends hiked all over Yosemite Valley, including Half Dome. I felt sick walking in the valley at 4,000 feet. Days after my transplant, my dad and I talked about the vistas he would show me when I could finally travel to higher altitudes. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I set the goal to hike Half Dome at least a year and a half ago. Last year I didn't get permits in the pre-season lottery and ultimately I was deterred by fires and poor air quality. Timing is everything. I don't think I would have been able to summit last year, but I was strong enough to do it this year. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ I am so grateful to my parents who gave me my love of nature and hiking. They inspire me to set goals and best of all they help me train for them. I’m grateful to the diseases I was born with that taught me to push past pain and not take anything for granted. My organ donor made all this possible. Their memory (in addition to their heart and lungs) pushes me forward any time I feel like giving up.
Last weekend I summitted Half Dome. 17 miles round trip. 4,800' elevation gain. 13 hours. 3.5 liters of water (no kidney failure, please and thank you). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Climbing this mountain wasn't just about me. It was about showing that organ transplantation can be truly miraculous. I went from being unable to scale a staircase on 4 liters of oxygen to scaling an iconic peak. Just over two years since I was on my deathbed, I am thriving!